Sachin Tendulkar has won India, a number of games using his heavy bat. There was one such occasion, however, when the Little Master won the game for India with ball in hand.
We need to go 26 years down the memory lane when India played South Africa in the Hero Cup final at Eden Gardens in Kolkata. Indian batters had failed miserably with the bat and the onus of victory lied on the shoulders of the bowlers.
The Javagal Srinath-led bowling attack did live up to the expectations and brought the match to an exciting last over finish. It is here, when the then Indian captain Mohammad Azharuddin did an unthinkable. With Kapil Dev’s and Srinath’s two overs till to go, Azhar handed the ball to Sachin Tendulkar. South Africa required just 6 runs off the last over and a decision to give a part-timer to bowl such an important could have landed Azhar in trouble.
Sachin, though, lived up to the expectations of his captain. The first bowl he bowled yielded wicket for India as Fanie de Villiers was run-out while trying to take the second run. After his departure, Allan Donald came to bat and was facing Sachin. This was India’s best chance as Donald wasn’t considered the best batsman in the game. A wicket and India had won the game. Donald though did not get out, nor did he make any run. He wasted three deliveries, before taking a single on Sachin’s fifth delivery. This was turning to be a masterstroke from both Azhar and Sachin.
The last ball was to be faced by Brian McMillan, who was batting well at the score of 48, requiring 4 runs. Sachin bowled a quicker last ball, which McMillan missed to connect. The master blaster had provided India an improbable win.
Relive the moments here: